Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My kitchen garden

The house that we just moved into doesn't have a garden at all, which is a big change from my previous house, which had a lovely, huge (and very high-maintenance) cottage garden. I'll miss that garden!

However, a happy discovery when we moved in was that there is a vegie patch. When we inspected the house it was a thick, dense tangle of weeds and we had no idea that this was hidden underneath.

I've started planting some vegies and herbs - I really enjoy growing my own produce, albeit at a more limited scale than I'd like. One day I'll have a big vegie patch of my very own, but this will do for now :)

This picture (click to enlarge) shows what I planted in half of the vegie patch a week ago. There are four tomato seedlings that my parents gave me as a housewarming present (thanks!), including the Black Russian heirloom variety, which is a favourite of mine.
The dark green is where I planted climbing bean seeds, and I'll add a trellis or some sort of support once they get bigger.
The dark orange strips are where I planted carrot seeds.
Light orange is where I planted nasturtium seeds, as an attractive border and to use in salads.

I planted up the other side of the garden last night. This side has a cherry and grape tomato on the left.
Below the 'teepee' of stakes are snow pea seedlings. I started tying some plastic tubing onto the stakes for the seedlings to use as support, and as they grow I'll add more support higher up the stakes. I might actually change the stake arrangement as last time I used a teepee shape, my peas grew far too tangled and thick at the top.
Basil seedlings are planted front-left - I don't have a lot of luck with basil, but we'll see how they go. And in the bare spots in between are somewhat dense patches of seeds of thyme, parsley, and a few salad leaf varieties. If they're successful, I'll thin them out or relocate them.

Not pictured are some peat pots that I have also seeded, if they grow I'll plant them in the back of this garden or into large pots.

The challenges of this vegie patch:
  • The quality of the soil. It looks ok-ish, but it's hard to tell. I mixed some manure fertiliser through the left side of the garden, and both sides have lucerne mulch. I'll probably fertilise the garden when the tomatoes start flowering.
  • Snails and slugs! Thousands of them! I can't believe how many there are. I've spread snail bait and it seems to be working, and I'll just have to keep that up and cross my fingers for the sprouting seeds.
  • The next door neighbour's cat: it appears this patch has been a convenient bathroom for him. He's so far favoured the right hand side, so I've put the mini fence up to try and keep him off it, as well as leaving the dirt patch at the back accessible so could use that instead. I haven't seen him use or walk on the lucerne at all yet - maybe that is enough of a deterrent?

I'll keep this blog updated with the progress of my garden!


  1. Straw or sawdust is usually a great cat repellent, so you you should be right with the lucerne. Strips of aluminium foil are also excellent if you have a really determined pussycat.

  2. ooh, that's handy to know. The lucerne certainly seems to help, he only scratches around the edges where it's thinner. I should spread some more out now that most of the seeds have sprouted.

    I should post a photo update - it's grown lots!